PHILADELPHIA, PA (Aug. 20) College students returning to campus this fall will find a new option in the cafeterias: a re-usable 'to go' food container for use at the campus dining hall. ARAMARK Higher Education, which services more than 600 colleges and universities throughout North America, will introduce the Green Thread™ 'to go' container program at many of the campuses it serves, diverting more than two million disposables from landfills during the 2009-2010 school year.
"Through our Green Thread™ environmental stewardship platform, ARAMARK continues to look for ways to reduce our environmental impact," said Michael Leone, senior vice president, ARAMARK Higher Education. "The re-usable 'to go' container program is the next phase of our ongoing plan to strive toward zero waste and support the sustainability goals of our partner campuses."
ARAMARK successfully piloted the re-usable 'to go' containers at several campuses last year, including Baylor University (TX), University of Florida, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Peace College (NC) and Salem College (NC). Since implementing the re-usable 'to go' containers in fall 2008, Baylor University reduced disposable container usage by 40 percent.
The re-usable 'to go' containers, which are dishwasher-safe and go through the same cleaning process as the dinnerware used in campus dining halls, will be offered to students at participating campuses starting this year.
"Student feedback from the pilot program was very positive," Leone said. "Everyone on campus immediately understood the reduction in landfill waste, when compared with a traditional, disposable container. Our program also commits to recycling these re-usable products at the end of their useful life."
The new 'to-go' container program follows last year's implementation by ARAMARK of a trayless dining program at the majority of its campus partner locations, which yielded significant reductions in energy, water, cleaning agents, food waste and waste removal.